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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Who's More Possessive... Men or Women?

My family has two bulldogs — a girl, Molly, age 2, and a boy, Boomer, age 4. Boomer is a sweet, mellow guy, and Molly is sweet, yet needy for affection. But she still acts like a puppy at times — while Boomer just wants to sleep. Molly gets, shall we say, a little possessive of her toys. Sweetheart she may be, but when it comes to those squeaky toys, she gets a little pissed at Boomer, even though he wants nothing to do with them. She’ll get a little puppy growl going with the toy in her mouth, and he’ll be sleeping a whole couch away. So she’ll bring it up him to show him and get even madder — as if he really had any intention of taking it. Poor Boomer.

“She’s very possessive,” my Dad said. “Just like a girl,” he laughed. Then he pet Boomer. “And the poor guy just has to take it.”


“Now wait I minute,” I said to him (because I’m always up for a good “girl vs. guy” argument), “girls aren’t possessive, and guys don’t just sit back like that, and they have their possessive things too… Boomer has his favorite blanket!” And then I just got frustrated.

But who is more possessive of their things — men or women?

Chew toys aside, there are certain things that both sexes are possessive of. Let’s start with guys, since poor Molly already got a bit of a bashing.

Just like our male dog, Boomer, is attached to his blankie, guys have a certain comfort object that they too are possessive of: Their favorite sweatshirt. Yes, you know the one — because it’s the one you want to wear. The one you want to snuggle in when you’re cold while watching a movie at his place, and then wear home so you can stay warm (but really, it just smells like him and you want to hold on to that, and tell your friends that you finally have something of his — yay!).

“Ugh…I don’t think so,” he says, practically ripping the thing off you, and not in a good way. “See, it’s, you know, it’s my favorite sweatshirt.”

At this point you’ll probably get into a fight over it just being a sweatshirt and why can’t you wear it and he’ll be like, you just don’t get it, and then you’ll leave, and then he’ll probably cuddle with the sweatshirt.

But yes, he’s possessive of it. For some reason, it’s important to him. Maybe it was his college sweatshirt — and he wore it practically every day of school for four years. Maybe he was on a sports team and it was part of the uniform. Maybe someone special gave it to him. Maybe it’s a Yankees sweatshirt. Whatever the case may be, he loves it, and it means something to him. It’s more than a sweatshirt. So until you mean that much to him, you have to understand that. It may seem annoying and like another weird guy thing, but it’s his thing — let him have it. Now, the day he does let you wear that sweatshirt home — you know you’ve earned it.

Now ladies, guys think we’re possessive about the material things, such as clothes, bags, makeup, accessories, etc. But they’re guys and sometimes they just see what’s on the outside — literally. Sure we may like those things, they’re fun, but like guys and their favorite sweatshirts, our possessiveness becomes a little more meaningful. We can become possessive about people, places, and things that are significant to us that might not seem so to others — but when someone interferes with them, we are deeply hurt or angered. For instance, when my sister was picking her colors for bridesmaids’ dresses for her wedding, she thought about green for a second. “You can’t have green!” I told her. “That’s my favorite color! If/when I get married…that’s what I’m going to have! We can’t use the same color!”

Wow. It’s just a color. See what I mean?

But I’ve known women who are possessive about restaurants and who go to their “favorite” often and when they find out an acquaintance tried it because they knew she went there, they were mad. It was “her” restaurant, after all.

Then there are people, and one of those people could be your boyfriend. Yes, women can be possessive of their man. Sometimes, that can turn ugly if they are too possessive, and being overbearing can scare the guy away. If you find that is the case (and you may not realize you are doing it), think of him as that favorite sweatshirt. Yes you adore him, but if you wear him everyday, he’s gonna get smelly. You need to throw him in the wash once in a while. Put him in the closet. Lend him to his friends. Basically, giving you, and him, space, will clear yourself of one more possession and make room in your closet for a new dress… that you can wear out with your man. And you’ll look amazing, because he’ll probably be wearing a sweatshirt.

So who wins or loses in this battle of possession, men or women? Who knows? Men are possessive of women too — it’s a continuous cycle, just don’t get yourself too involved. Or else, next thing you know you’ll be playing with chew toys and barking at other dogs. Just think of poor Molly and Boomer...

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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